Bitcoin row: Renowned Bollywood names entangled in Rs 2,000 cr scam
Bitcoin has been available for trading since 2009, but it was over the last three months of 2017, when Bitcoin outshined just about everything else bynearly touching $20,000-mark.
It feels like just yesterday when the entire world was awed by the Bitcoin performance, so much so that, they ended up reposing full faith in the cryptocurrency market. However, it would not be wrong to say, that even though there are many digital currencies across nations, yet Bitcoin remains the brand and hope of this market. Bitcoin has managed to remain in headlines for quite some time now, and each coming day something or the other takes place. It needs to be noted that, trading in Bitcoin is not really taken as a best investment option by Indian government and RBI as it may lead to tax evasion by citizens. Looks like their fears have become a reality now. The latest news is suggesting that some renowned names in Bollywood may well be involved in Bitcoin trading and that this has ballooned into a full fledged scam.
It has been revealed that, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra is being questioned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in case of alleged Bitcoin fraud. Bitcoin has been available for trading since 2009, but it was over the last three months of 2017 when Bitcoin just outshined everything else by nearly touching $20,000-mark. Notably, from 2013 - 2017, Bitcoin managed give returns 18,329.91% or 184.30 times return.
However, Bitcoin plunged thereafter and it is still trying to catch its breath as it hovers between $7,000 to $9,500 marks.
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Zach Pandl and Charles P Himmelberg, Economist at Goldman Sachs, said, "The anonymity of many cryptocurrencies makes them a useful medium of exchange for criminal activities, including tax avoidance and the circumvention of capital controls."
The ED is looking through a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against bitcoin-based investment website GainBitcoin, its founder Amit Bhardwaj and eight others. It is alleged Raj Kundra is a promoter of one of the mining companies of Bhardwaj.
About 8,000 investors are believed to have lost about Rs 2,000 crore by transacting in this Bitcoin scheme in exchange of 10 per cent returns on their cryptocurrency.
When the news broke in, Viaan Industries share price tanked 20% on Tuesday, hitting its lower circuit. Viaan Industries stock hit a lower circuit of 20 per cent to Rs 18.40 on the BSE. The company has only two promoters, Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra who hold 25.48% and 25.43% stakes respectively in the company.
Interestingly, recent reports by Zee News has revealed that names of several Bollywood celebrities have also come up during the questioning by the agency.
These Bollywood names are - Sunny Leone, Prachi Desai, Aarti Chabria, Sonal Chauhan, Karishma Tanna, Zareen Khan, Neha Dhupia, Huma Qureshi and Nargis Fakhri.
It is also being said, that ED may even question Shilpa Shetty.
In past seven days, Bitcoin has been gaining momentum so much so that it has even hit the $130 billion market cap.
Bitcoin’s market cap since start of 2018, has dropped to as low as $113 billion, however, the coin is one of the most loved cryptocurrencies, which is why investors are not done with it yet.
Currently, Bitcoin is trading at $7,622.89 up by 2.41%. In Indian rupees, one bitcoin is available at Rs 5,11,076.66.